This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
The Mandalorian season 2 continues its streak of entertaining episodes with “The Heiress,” which brings in elements from The Clone Wars as well as gives us a clear sign of where the show is headed. Along the way, we’re treated to even more guest appearances, including Battlestar Galactica legend Katee Sackhoff, who brings Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze to live-action for the first time, as well as Mercedes Varnado (better known as the WWE wrestler Sasha Banks), who portrays the gun-toting Nite Owl soldier Koska Reeves.
Two major cameos in one episode is more than enough to get viewers excited, but “The Heiress” throws in yet one more guest actor in the third actor. If you thought that fiercely loyal Imperial captain looked familiar, that’s because it’s actor Titus Welliver, who you probably know best from Lost, Deadwood, and as the star of police procedural series Bosch. In “The Heiress,” we watch as Welliver’s nameless baddie tries to thwart a Mandalorian attack on his vessel, throwing all the stormtroopers he has at his disposal at Bo-Katan’s team. And when it’s clear that he’s lost the fight, the captain follows Moff Gideon’s orders and prepares to crash the Imperial cruiser into the Trask ocean below.
We don’t learn much about Welliver’s Imperial villian except that he’s arrogant, a common trait among his rank, and that he’ll do anything for the Empire’s continued existence, even if it means taking the lives of his men and his own in the process. By crashing the ship, he can stop Bo-Katan and her group from finding Gideon’s secret Imperial fleet (as well as the location of the Darksaber, the legendary blade that the Mandalorian, the rightful heir to the weapon, wants back from the Moff). And when that fails, he doesn’t hesitate to bite down on the electric suicide pill that ends his life.
Welliver is simply credited as “Captain” in the episode, and his anonymous villain is notable because it reminds us of the nameless baddie that immortalized the actor: Lost‘s Man in Black. While we wouldn’t go as far as to say that the Imperial captain is quite on the same tier as the embodiment of pure evil who loved to eat people in the form of a Smoke Monster, it’s clear that Welliver was able to draw on a bit of the spookiness from his Lost performance for “The Heiress.”
There’s something twisted in Welliver’s eye as he decides to plunge the cruiser into the ocean, and a real iciness as he kills his man with two quick pulls of his trigger. Like the Man in Black with his many minions, the captain clearly views everyone as expendable in his pursuit to serve the Empire.
Interestingly enough, Welliver is also the second Deadwood alum to appear on The Mandalorian season 2, following a stellar performance from Timothy Olyphant, who played Tatooine sheriff Cobb Vanth in “The Marshal.” Welliver portrayed henchman Silas Adams on the HBO Western.
It’s unfortunate that Welliver’s captain is a one-and-done villain, but it’s still very nice to see another familiar face on the show, even if he’s up to some pretty nasty things.
Keep up with all The Mandalorian season 2 coverage here.